"Connecting People to Nature", the theme for World Environment Day 2017, implores us to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share. This year’s theme invites you to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
People and Nature
‘Connecting People to Nature’ urge us to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.
Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a valley.
Over the last few decades we have gained, thanks to scientific advances and increased awareness of environmental matters, a much better understanding of the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being. Whilst nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms, what they have to offer mankind is invaluable.
World Environment Day organisers are challenging us to find fun and exciting way to experience and cherish this valuable relationship. Whether you pay a visit to one of your country’s national parks or take a stroll through one of your city’s green spaces, WED is an ideal occasion to go out and explore what nature has to offer.
In the age of concrete and smartphones (and the many other distractions of modern life), connections with nature can be fleeting. But with your help, World Environment Day can make it clearer than ever that we need harmony between humanity and nature so that both are able to thrive.
Canada, the host country
Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. This year it is Canada.
Its rich and spectacular natural heritage is a source of pride and identity for Canadians. Abundant natural resources also support the country’s economic prosperity – through tourism as well as sustainable use – and the health and well-being of its 36 million inhabitants.
World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere….